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Protocol for a systematic review: understanding the motivations and barriers to uptake and use of female-initiated, primary biomedical HIV prevention technologies in sub-Saharan Africa

Systematic Reviews, 2015, 4:111 (doi:10.1186/s13643-015-0096-1)

Authors: Robyn Eakle, Caitlin Jarrett, Adam Bourne, Jonathan Stadler and Heidi Larson

Abstract

Background: Women in sub-Saharan Africa are disproportionately affected by high rates of HIV, yet relatively few products exist for female-initiated HIV prevention. New antiretroviral (ARV)-based prevention options could present opportunities for women to expand their HIV prevention choices; however, acceptability and adherence play a key role in the effectiveness of these products and implementation is still in early stages. To better understand which HIV prevention options might best serve women in sub-Saharan Africa, how and why, this review will explore qualitative evidence from clinical trials and implementation studies alike using a meta-ethnographic approach to synthesise data and interpret results.
Methods/design: This systematic review will use a meta-ethnographic approach to analyse qualitative data extracted from multiple studies featuring actual use of female-initiated technologies for HIV prevention. The search strategy will be applied in seven databases and papers will be selected using strict inclusion and exclusion criteria. The review will closely follow the guidance set forth by preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) and Centre for Reviews Dissemination (CRD) where the guidance applies to qualitative data. Two reviewers will review all papers during the paper selection phase, with consultation from a third reviewer to confirm consensus. All papers included in the review will be read and analysed by two reviewers. The final analysis will be conducted by three primary reviewers with additional input from all other authors.
Discussion: With new HIV prevention technologies currently in early implementation phases and still more on the horizon, there is much to learn about how best these products may be delivered. A review such as this could help to inform the real-world implementation of the next wave of new HIV prevention technologies such as ARV-based oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

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